Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards Demote Rzepczynski in Bullpen Shakeup

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards Demote Rzepczynski in Bullpen Shakeup

Article excerpt

The Cardinals' prolonged troubles in the bullpen prompted a shakeup Monday that included the demotion of lefty Marc Rzepczynski to Class AAA Memphis and a clear sign that patience is quickly running out as an approach to the struggling relievers.

"Clearly, the way things are going now with our bullpen, we have to do something," general manager John Mozeliak said. "I'm not looking for some broad-stroke message to the group. I think they realize that their ineffectiveness at times I guarantee they'll all tell you to a man they want to do better.

"This game is all about results."

The Cardinals promoted righty Seth Maness from Memphis' rotation to take Rzepczynski's spot in the bullpen and added him to the 40- man roster. Maness, 24, was 2-2 with a 4.32 ERA in four starts at Memphis, where he had 18 strikeouts and only three walks. Maness won the Cardinals' organization pitcher of the year award last season as the ace of Class AA Springfield. He has uncanny command of several pitches and throws harder than his finesse reputation would imply.

Scheduled to start Monday for Memphis, he can handle the innings of a long reliever, but manager Mike Matheny said his role would not be limited.

"He did a nice job in any situation we put him in this spring," Matheny said. "You can't help but look at his splits and be impressed with what he's been able to do so far in his career. He does attack the zone, and that's something we could use at any level."

The Cardinals' bullpen allowed six runs in the Cardinals' 9-0 loss Sunday to Pittsburgh and 11 runs total over the weekend against the Bucs. The Cardinals' 6.08 ERA from relievers ranked last in the majors, more than a half run worse than No. 29, the Mets' 5.35. The Cardinals are the only bullpen in baseball without a win. They have blown six saves in 24 games.

Rzepczynski, a member of the bullpen since he was acquired in July 2011, had allowed seven earned runs in eight innings this season. Six of the seven runners he inherited have scored, including both runners Sunday. The Cardinals were concerned by Rzepczynski's body language and suggestions he's received to alter his approach. …

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